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Edward, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Volvo
Satisfied Customers: 2746
Experience:  I've had 10 years of experience on the car line at 2 Volvo dealerships, Quality level Volvo tech.
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We have a 2011 XC 70. The A/C blows warm and moderately

Customer Question

We have a 2011 XC 70. The A/C blows warm and moderately cold; and the faster I drive the cooler is blows. Also, there is a faint humm sound in the A/C fan and it stops when I turn the knob to off.
I had the A/C serviced and these problems were not detected; only coolant and a value were replaced. It is suggested now that the A/C compressor and the device that routes the cool air to various outlets both need to be replaced. The cost: about $1,500.
Parts are: Compressor #36011359 $799.96 and Electriso #31348270 $182.57. Labor is $528.
1. Will the A/C system continue to deteriorate and ultimately fail? What are my risks?
2. Does the repair diagnosis seem appropriate?
3. Can I get the parts for less and the labor for less? I just paid $400 for the 75,000 mile service and $200 for the initial A/C service which the dealer will credit against the $1,500 if I have the dealer do the work.
Thank you.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Volvo
Expert:  Edward replied 5 months ago.
Hello Paul, What they are speaking of is likely a blend door inside the plenum that has warped, or isn't closing the heater core off completely, is the air cooler on drivers side than passenger side? or does the air just not get as cool as it used to? Let us know, thank you.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
The air does not get as cool as before I discovered the problem. Note, during the service earlier this week in which they did not discover the problem, they did top off the coolant which had been lost because the valve on the coolant container was defective. They replaced the value. When the air failed to be cool after that service, they discovered the compressor was defective and the part that routes the air to ALL the outlets in the car, based on which settings I select, also has to be replaced.We live in the CA desert where temps get to 112 or higher. Though the car is garaged daily, we do sit at idle often when shopping and in traffic. But i don't understand why a compressor or the other device should fail. The car is on 4.5 years old and has only 70,000 miles.Is there a solution short of a new compressor and other device?
If I do nothing, do I risk a major problem soon?Paul
Expert:  Edward replied 5 months ago.
I follow you now Paul, I can say this, we haven't had a big problem out of the compressors in my state of NC, however, you likely run your compressor twice as hard as we do here, where you really only need A/C maybe 1/2 the year tops. The blend door being warped in itself would cause the air to be warmer, What needs to happen, is the A/C pressures need to be tested, and the system evacuated and recharged with the exact amount of freon it is supposed to take. I would have to do that before condemning the A/C compressor 100%. I can't dispute their diagnosis without performing these operations, but I would find it odd that the compressor had failed in that amount of time. I also found a volvo dealer online with a compressor listed at 170$ less than what you told me on that part number.
Expert:  Edward replied 5 months ago.
In my opinion and experience, and from what your telling me, I believe I would go ahead and get another opinion before spending 1500$ on this repair. What I would recommend first, is an evacuate and recharge with A/C dye, dye is the best way to find A/C leaks, as if the system leaks at all, ultra-violent dye will come out where it is leaking, and then a blacklight is used to see the leak. That will not cost much at all, and may actually fix the problem temporarily, when the vehicle is returned after the air gets warm again, a technician will look at the system with a blacklight to determine what is leaking. If the compressor is noisey when it cycles, I would say it is possible it was failing, but the noise your likely hearing is the blower motor itself humming slightly, and I wouldn't worry about replacing it unless it got so loud it was too annoying. I have also pulled leaves and plastic bags out of the heater case before, so that may be a foreign object in there the fan cage is hitting. Let me know if you have any further questions. Thank you.